On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, triggering the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
(1776 population from Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970.)
The nation’s population on this July Fourth.
Fourth of July Cookouts
More than 1 in 4
The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State had a total of 15.5 million market hogs and pigs on March 1. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (8.4 million) and Minnesota (6.2 million) were the runners-up. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
6.8 billion pounds
Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2006. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if they did not come from Texas, they very well may have come from Nebraska (4.8 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds). <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
Number of states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater between December 2005 and November 2006. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
The odds that the beans in your side dish of baked beans came from Michigan or North Dakota, which produced 49 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2006. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2006. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
Please Pass the Potato Salad
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Nearly half of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington in 2006. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
More than 70 percent
Amount of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2006 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your hamburger. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
About 2 in 3
The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 68 percent of U.S. tomato production last year. The ketchup on your hamburger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 95 percent of processed tomato production in 2006. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
The state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (835 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular Fourth of July dessert include California, Georgia and Texas, each with more than 600 million pounds. <http://www.nass.usda.gov>
More than 74 million
Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It’s probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.
See Table 1225, 2007 edition: <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract.html>
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2006, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($216 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $22.6 million in 2006, with Japan purchasing more than any other country ($8 million). <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks in 2002. <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i325998t.pdf>
In 2006, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags; the vast majority of this amount ($5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China. <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2006. Trinidad and Tobago was the leading customer, purchasing $661,498 worth. <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers, according to the latest published Economic Census (2002) data. <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i314999t.pdf>
Number of places nationwide with “liberty” in its name. The most populous one is Liberty, Mo. (29,042). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
- Thirty-two places are named “eagle” — after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 25,571 residents. There is also Eagle County, Colo., with a population of 49,085.
- Eleven places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 110,208 residents.
- Five places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
- There is one place named “patriot” — Patriot, Ind., with a population of 195.
- And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 21,372. (Sources: <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/007001.html>,
<http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/009756.html>, and American FactFinder)
The British are Coming!
Dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today. <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>